Quino El Guardian


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4 reviews

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Quino el Guardian is a liveaboard dive vessel taking guests to some of the most amazing dive destinations in Mexico:

November through May

The Revillagigedo Islands (also Revillagigedo Archipelago) are a group of four volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, known for their unique ecosystem. The islands are home to many endemic plant and animal species.  Socorro Island is the most diverse in flora, fauna, and topography.  The islands lie 250 miles off Baja Mexico’s southern shore.   

These islands are a spectacular magnet for the largest ocean pelagic animals in the world. Animals include schooling hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, friendly bottlenose dolphins, silky sharks, Galapagos sharks, clouds of jacks and barracuda, tuna, wahoo, oceanic whitetip sharks, and giant, inquisitive manta rays – Socorro’s claim to fame! 

Humpback whales visit during the winter months of mid-February through mid-April. We often hear the sounds of the singing mating males as they provide escort underwater. Sightings are common during this time.  Whale sharks can be seen during the months of November, December, and May. Bait-ball season is May.

9- days
July – September

This is a breathtaking destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, and exploration. Legendary diver Jacques Cousteau described the Sea of Cortez as the “world’s aquarium”. Dive on untouched walls and reefs abounding in marine life. Encounter large and small whale species, snorkel with whale sharks, dive with playful sea lion colonies and see countless eels, octopus, fish and jumping mobula rays. It’s a macro photographer’s dream with nudibranchs, colorful blennys, dancing jawfish and sea horses.

September & October

This is truly an exploration as we start at one end of Baja and end at another – over 700 miles! In addition to all of the amazing diving around the Midriff Islands, divers will enjoy the clear, calm waters of the southern Sea of Cortez. While we have an itinerary, we remain open to what Mother Nature brings our way!


– Vessel is 90 ft long with a 25 ft beam.
– 16 passengers and 9 crew
– 5 cabins: 4 cabins with 4 bunks and 1 cabin with two bunks / all with privacy curtains
– There is A/C throughout for everyone’s comfort and individually controlled in each cabin
– 4 spacious community bathrooms with a full-size shower, 2 lavatories
– Large galley that comfortably accommodates all 16 passengers with a projector and a drop-down screen for group presentations
– Comfortable salon with sofas, a TV and a computer table
– Huge dive deck, well organized with gear storage for all your diving equipment and a spacious camera tables
– Dive platform for easy access to the inflatable pangas
– 2 compressors
– Large shaded sundeck with lawn chairs and bean bags;, perfect for relaxing between dives.
-2 inflatable tenders to get you to the dive site with sturdy ladders for the safety and ease of our divers


Quino el Guardian is the “brother” boat to Rocio del Mar. Both boats offer our renown crew and food. The prices on Quino are lower and are an exceptional value. Quino is also excellent for divers who travel alone or in small groups as it is a very friendly boat. Because of the boat set up, you will soon get to know your 15 fellow passengers and the crew will feel like family.

Quino el Guardian also offers something even more unique … our Citizen Science Program. About half of our charters include a scientist that specializes in sharks, manta rays, pelagics, whales, reef biology and diversity, etc. The scientists are doing research and the other guests on board assist them as much as they like which can include tagging animals. The divers also enjoy daily presentations on subjects like migration, reproduction, conservation, climate and human impact, etc.

Quino el Guardian is available for individual bookings, private charters and special trips including Family Only Trips, Ladies Only Trips, Photography Workshops, etc.

Come join us on an amazing adventure!

March 27, 2019

Quino El Guardian – Revillagigedo

First lets start with the vessel. The Quino El Guardian is a beautiful vessel with simple, but comfortable accommodations. The dining room and living room are perfect for connecting with other divers during your trek out to the islands and back. The top deck is perfect for relaxing outside in a bean bag and taking in the views, and hanging out with the blue footed boobies. The chefs on board are world class! From Mexican food, to Italian food, to fresh seafood, everything was spectacular and delicious! The dive deck provides everyone with enough space to get ready quickly, and includes a great camera table for storing and cleaning your gear! The four bathrooms are shared and have everything you need – hot water, soap, and shampoo.

Next up, the crew! The crew on The Quino are the best group of employees I’ve ever been diving with! The steward, Pollo, caters to your every need and makes sure you are laughing and smiling all week. The chef, as mentioned above, will keep you stuffed from the time you step on the boat until you get off back at the harbor. The engineer and the captain are always helping divers with their gear, and couldn’t have been any funnier!!! Finally, the divemasters are truly world class. The amount of incredible animals they show you, all while making you feel completely safe, is mind blowing! Edgar, Peter, Luis, Andres, and Axel, YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!!!!! Whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, false orcas, hammerheads, tiger sharks, silvertips, white tips, galapagos sharks, silky sharks, and humpback whales underwater, NOT BAD right??? In addition to all this, The Quino brings on marine researchers and scientists to give presentations and involve divers in collecting data (Citizen Science)! This is a unique experience that every diver should experience. My time spent on The Quino El Guardian has been the best diving (and best time overall) of my life!!! I can’t wait to go back!!!

  • Member Since: February 23, 2015
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October 28, 2016

This review is for a 13-day Explore Baja trip aboard the Quino El Guardian, in early October 2016.

This is a very unique dive trip, on a very unique boat. Divers looking for something different yet still a solidly good live-aboard experience should definitely consider it.

Our trip began in the North departing from Puerto Peñasco after an approximately 4 hour drive from Phoenix airport in the “Head Out to Rocky Point” shuttle van. The van was comfortable and there were several stops along the way to get out, stretch, buy snacks, etc.

At the docks we met some of the crew who helped get us and our gear aboard. There is a small shop a few blocks away for last minute purchases (let the crew know you are going) – very limited items but they did have some Don Julio at very reasonable cost :).

Departure was pretty quick for the overnight cruise to the first dive site. The passage was a bit rough, some of us tried to sleep on the top deck but had to come inside because of the salt spray from wind and waves. But this was the only time we had rough seas, all other days/nights were very calm and beautiful (and sunny!).

The divers on this trip were a diverse group, most of us had never met before. Lots of different backgrounds and personalities. But the nature of the Quino was to bring the group together. The 4-per-cabin arrangement, shared facilities, and smaller size of the boat contributed to this – to me it felt a bit like an adult-version summer camp, where one tends to make new friends and have great adventures. So I’ll say the size and organization of the boat, being smaller and less private than others, was actually a big plus – gave the whole trip a unique feeling.

I should also say the boat is completely adequate in size: comfortable dive deck with a good system for organizing the divers onto the dinghies, spacious and comfortable dining area, large shaded deck area (with additional non-shaded area for sun-worshipers), reading/relaxing/computer/TV lounge. It never felt crowded on the Quino – just fun.

Next I should mention the crew. Wow, best crew ever. These guys all work extremely hard to make the trip fun and comfortable, yet they are always personable and friendly. Lots of laughing and joking and interaction with the divers, but did I mention they work extremely hard to make the trip fun and comfortable? One thing I really appreciated is that every night the crew would deliver my mattress to the top deck, where I (and about half the other divers) could sleep out in the fresh air under the stars. I hadn’t done this since my early diving days in the South China Sea years ago – on this trip I slept every night on the top deck. Very fun!

Special mention must go to Pancho, our cook. The food was outstanding. Fresh, varied, flavorful, well-prepared, interesting presentation. I liked the fact that breakfasts were varied with lots of fresh fruit selections, and the two BBQ dinners on the top deck were outstanding (and really fun).

By now you must be wondering what the diving was like. OK, I’ll tell…

I brought a 5mm wetsuit + 3mm hooded vest for the diving in the north (first part of trip) and was glad that I did. A few of the dives had some pretty cold upwellings, most other dives were 75-79 degrees. Half-way through the trip I switched to a 3mm, which was perfect for the south.

Dives in the north were modest visibility. Not great but not terrible. Perfectly good for the kind of dives we did where there were lots of smaller creatures to find. In fact I really enjoyed seeing some new species that I’d never seen before, including signal blennies (very fun to watch), giant jawfish (amazing to look at when they come out of their holes), and others. Not the lush colorful reefs of Indonesia for example, but still plenty of interesting things to see and I can say that I enjoyed the diving.

Another interesting aspect of the North is the stark beauty of the landscape. Think: Mars meets ocean. Really enjoyed going on-shore and walking about a few times

One great aspect of this trip is that not only is there lots of diving, but there were also other fun things to do. For example an afternoon swimming with friendly Whale Sharks in a shallow bay (as much swimming with them as we wanted). Whale watching, including one encounter with Orcas. One evening walking about the small Baja town of Loreto and enjoying a marvelous dinner at a local taqueria (everything hand made and cooked over wood fires – you must try the Queso Fundido if you ever go).

The diving itself was very diverse. Lots of small things to see in the North, a number of dives with Sea Lions (some very playful), more and more fish and fantastic visibility as we moved toward the South, along with some beautiful reefs. Plus – for just about the entire trip we were the only divers (and in fact the only boat) anywhere in sight. We definitely had the dive sites, and it seemed the entire sea, all to ourselves.

Especially memorable in the South were our dives in the Cabo Pulmo national marine park. Google it and you will see pictures of giant schools of fish swimming around the divers. Yes – we saw that. Or I should say: we were in the middle of all that. Really fun. Another dive there was on a very beautiful reef, definitely artistic in its beauty.

Other memorable moments: The night dives we saw plenty of fun stuff, including one dive with bunches of mating sea hares all over the reef (where do they all come from???). Another dive we saw more moray eels than I can recall ever seeing in one site, including one hole with 14 of the big guys all packed in together. Lots of octopus, especially in the North where it seemed I saw at least one on every dive. Night dive with fighter squadrons of Mobula attacking the dense clouds of krill attracted by the light. And the several dives on submerged sea mounts were all very fun too.

Although currents can be strong in the Sea of Cortez, we were pretty lucky and at most only encountered modest current on just a few of the dives, most were without any current. I think the dive masters did a good job of planning sites in this respect.

Although I’m not a photographer, I can say Cat, our good friend, had a great time photographing new creatures he had never encountered before. Cat is an avid diver and photographer, seems that he spends more time diving than not, so the fact that he was so happy with his photographic results from this trip (and plans to come back again), says a lot for the photographic opportunities in the Sea of Cortez.

All in all it was a unique and very fun trip, I highly recommend it. Thanks to Dora and Lolo (owners/founders), and the entire Quino crew for making it a great experience.

January 21, 2016

I was constantly blown away by how friendly, helpful and hardworking the crew of the Quino El Guardian was. This was my first liveaboard experience, and I was amazed at how productive my trip was, as there was no more schlepping gear to the beach and back.

The Divemasters were knowledgeable and experienced, and were flexible in allowing the photographers to take their time and stay in a specific area versus going with the group. The two panga (Zodiacs) system allowed for speedy entrances and exits with two groups of 8/9 divers.

Dora joined our expedition, and her wonderful personality and charisma was a delight to be around. She was also extremely helpful in addressing any concerns that we had, and ensuring smooth operations.

My only complaint was that we weren’t able to use Nitrox due to a problem with the compressor, and the bunks were a big tight. Neither issue affected my trip however, and I had an amazing experience! Can’t wait to join the Quino on a future expedition.

December 8, 2015

The crew of Quino El Guardian, by far, stand out as most outstanding and impressive of my live aboard experiences which are many around the world. The Quino crew are a family. They embrace each diver into their family. We all know how hard crews work on a live aboard, 24/7, and we are always impressed by the crew’s ability to be so much fun, do all they can to make our dive experience the best BUT this crew is different – they excel. I think this quality of excellence speaks to the owners, Dora and Lolo. Dora and Lolo treat their crew like their family with kindness and respect.

The boat is different now than in the pictures. The diving deck is open so you can see out from starboard and port. I like the way it is laid out with the large camera station in the middle. It is organized, spacious, and the cleanest (all the time) of any dive boat. Many NY Four Star restaurants would love to have some of their recipes – excellent in variety, taste, smell, presentation!

I see the Quino El Guardian as a working live aboard dive boat. Sleeping quarters are tight, tight, and tight; four bunks to a berth. I shared with two other women, for the three of us the space worked. I liked the privacy curtains because it felt like lights out, ready to be rocked to sleep. Showers and toilets are upstairs on deck which was really convenient after dives. And, if you had to get up in the middle of the night to use the toilet, it was your secret to be part of the sea, the anchorage, the stars, the air that no one else got to see.

The entire Quino El Guardian Citizen’s Science Expedition experience was uniquely special. I can hardly wait to be back aboard. – bp

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